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Enjoy The Festival Of Meskel (Finding Of The Holy Cross)

Celebration of the Damera at Meskel Festival

Celebration of the Damera at Meskel Festival

ACTIVITY DETAILS

Duration: 8 Days

Minimum number of participants: 10 persons

Valid from: 19 Sep 2017
Valid until: 27 Sep 2017

1 Free Tickets: A lot will be thrown among the 10 travelers and the lucky one will get a free ride for the whole trip.

Celebrated on the 27th of September mostly by Orthodox Coptic Church Christians, the Meskel holiday honors the finding of the true cross. The focus of the celebration is a bonfire topped with an image of a cross, in which white cloths are tied. The colorfully clad priests and deacons chant and dance as they bless the bonfire before it is lit. After the celebration, the faithful return home for lunch and drinks.

Fascinating excursions to legendary churches around Asmara are part of this tour.

 

ITINERARY

St Mary Orthodox Church, Asmara

St Mary Orthodox Church, Asmara

Sep 19, 2017: Arrival to Asmara (Overnight Asmara)

The Roman Catholic Cathedral

The Roman Catholic Cathedral, Asmara

You will be met and assisted by our professional guides at the airport and then transferred to your hotel.

Sep 20, 2017: Sightseeing of Asmara (Overnight Asmara)

Visit Asmara, the city called as ‘Piccola Roma’ (Little Rome) and observe its most shining collection of Art Deco (A style of design, marked by stylized forms and geometric designs, which was popular in the 1920s and 1930s) architectural wonders portrayed in many of its buildings.

Visit Enda Mariam (St. Mary Orthodox Church) , the Roman Catholic Church, Kidame Mihret Church, St Michael Church and Greek Orthodox Church.

Sep 21, 2017: Asmara- Keren (Overnight Keren)

Old St Antony church built by Italians in early 20th C, Keren

Old St Antony church built by Italians in early 20th C, Keren

Travel from Asmara to Keren- one of Eritrea’s most attractive towns. visit the charming town of Keren which was once favorite resort for European visitors because of the temperate climate and fertile soil, and a place where the decisive battles of WWII carried out between the British and the Italians.

Visit St Michael Church (the first modern building in Keren, laid in 1865), St Anthony Romanesque Church (the oldest church completed in 1932 and the latest church), the Shrine of Mariam Dearit (Mary of Daarit, with the bronze statue inside a giant baobab tree placed on July 1878) and St Mary Orthodox Church (completed in 1976).

Sep 22, 2017: Keren- Filfil- Massawa (Overnight Massawa)

Travel from Keren to the Red Sea Coast and the port city of Massawa- the pearl of the Red sea.

Shrine of Maria of Dear't inside Baobab grotto

The Shrine of Maria of Dearit inside Baobab grotto, Keren

En route visit the evergreen Filfil Forest – the Green Belt region lies to the northeast of Asmara, part of the Semenawai Bahri area. It is covered with lush forests and vegetation and home to an impressive array of birds and mammals such as vervet monkeys and hamadryas baboons.

Gurgsum beach swimming, rest and recreation.

Sep 23, 2017: Massawa- Green Island- Massawa (Overnight Massawa)

In the morning visit Green Island (Isola Verde), a small island covered with mangrove, is just 15 minutes boat ride off the port city of Massawa. Take a picnic lunch, swim, snorkel and relax in the delightful beach. Boat trip back to Massawa.

In the afternoon, visit the port city of Massawa – City of islands and the ‘Pearl of the Red Sea’, a city which for centuries has been one of the region’s most important ports. With its exquisite Turkish-style architecture and shopping arcades, beautiful mosques and delicious sea food, Massawa is the perfect destination to cater for all tastes. In addition to the city’s attractions, pristine beaches and enjoyable swimming are available just a short distance from the city center.

Visit the St Mariam Orthodox Church, St Michael Church and Kidane Meheret Catholic Church.

Sep 24, 2017: Massawa- Ghindae- Asmara (Overnight Asmara)

Continue Massawa city tour from what is left from yesterday.

In the afternoon, drive back from Massawa enjoying the spectacular scenery of peaks and valleys all the way to Asmara.

One of Eritrea's oldest church, Senafe

Kidane Mehret, one of Eritrea’s oldest church in Senafe

Sep 25, 2017: Asmara- Adikeih (Overnight Adikeih)

Drive from Asmara, via Dekemhare to Adiekyh.

Visit St Mariam Church and St Michael Church.

Thrilling trekking to archeological site Qohaito (Kohaito), some 15 km off-road from Adikeyh. Visit this famous historical site that features a superb array of archaeological sites that recount volumes of history.

Some of the wonders to see in Qohaito include: a pre-Christian temple of Mariam Wekiro, tombs, pillars, impressive prehistoric cave paintings (that date back circa 4000-5000BC), Safira Dam – a large dam dating back to 1 century AD, believed to be a place of worship with 79 words long Ge’ez (ancient church liturgical language) inscriptions and the foundation of ancient palaces.

Virtuoso performance by priests and deacons

Virtuoso performance by priests and deacons

Sep 26, 2017: Day 6: Adikeyh- Senafe – Asmara (Overnight Asmara)

Procession of Timket Festival

The procession of Meskel Festival

Travel from Adikeyh to Senafe.

Visit the centuries old Kidane Mehret Church, the oldest and the latest church located side by side. This old church typifies Eritrea’s highland construction technique known as ‘monkey-head’.

Exciting trekking to archeological site of Matara (Metera/ Belew Kelew), 2km south of Senafe, equivalent to an important ancient town named Koleo from 2nd century AD, housing some of Eritrea’s most important historical sites.

Some of the things to be seen in Matara are a 2.5m tall enigmatic stele known for its pagan, pre-Christian symbol of the sun over the crescent moon – a south Arabian divinity, engraved on the top of the eastern face and it faces eastward, which is unique in Eritrea; a royal palace, a tomb chamber, etc.

Colorfully clad priests and umbrellas at Timket Festival

Colorfully clad priests and umbrellas at Meskel Festival

Drive uphill while enjoying the magnificent scenery and lush vegetation all the way to Asmara.

En route take a short stop at the town of Segeneiti– a lush fertile area. Visit the huge Sycamore tree that has been immortalized on the five-nakfa note.

Sep 27, 2017: Asmara. Transfer for Departure.

Attend the extended Festival of Meskel until noon. After lunch, free to discover Asmara in your leisure time. Transfer to airport for Departure.

 

 

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